Nantwich Town Mayor Cllr Stuart Bostock attaches the 100 year ribbon to the Branch Standard, assisted by the Branch President John Dwyer (1)

2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the Nantwich & District Branch of the Royal British Legion, writes Jonathan White.

The branch was formed on September 30 1921 and on September 30 2021 they were awarded a 100th Anniversary Pennant by the North West Region.

Little is known about the origins of the branch except two of the “founding fathers” were Colonel Tintwistle and Colonel G Christie-Miller.

It is thought more than 1,000 local men who had served in the First World War were members between the war years and much help was given to the dependants of more than 200 local men who did not return.

At the end of the Second World War the strength of the branch again passed the 1,000 mark.

An RBL Club was opened in Barker Street and this provided a congenial meeting point for the ex-Service community until its closure in the late 1950s.

David Hulse - Standard Bearer - Nantwich & District Branch of the Royal British Legion
David Hulse – Standard Bearer – Nantwich & District Branch of the Royal British Legion

Major General Beanland was then a prominent member and many senior ranking ex-officers filled the committee positions, notably Major Colin Edwards MC, who had been commissioned in the field during the North African Campaign, serving the Legion with distinction until his death in 1991.

Nowadays, the strength of the branch fluctuates around 120 mark and membership is very active with a mix of ex-service, serving and people who have never served in H.M. Forces.

The committee along with Nantwich Town Council organises the various annual Remembrance Parades and Services.

It maintains strong links with other ex-service associations, in particular (until recently) the Czech Association.

The Anzac Parade and Service on Anzac Day at Cannock Chase is attended on an annual basis and support is provided to other South Cheshire RBL Branches when requested.

The branch is affiliated to 100 squadron (Nantwich) Air Training Corps, and Nantwich Army Cadet Force (1 Mercian).

Unfortunately, the Czech Association is now no longer active, but a small ceremony will still be held at Cholmondeley Castle.

A memorial to the Czechs is under construction at the National Memorial Arboretum.

2021 also marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion,

The British Legion was formed on the 15th May 1921 after the end of the First World War with Royal status being granted in 1971.

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